SAN ANTONIO --Three days into training camp, the Cowboys appear to have exactly what they wanted: a kicking competition.
David Buehler is back as the incumbent, and undrafted rookie Dan Bailey is showing why the Cowboys cut veteran Kris Brown on Tuesday to sign last year's Lou Groza Award winner. Unofficially, Bailey has made 15-of-15 field goals in practice. Buehler is 11-of-15.
The Cowboys felt Bailey could legitimately push for the job, and team owner/GM Jerry Jones said after Saturday's practice that he could see both kickers sticking around.
"If we need to," Jones said after Saturday's practice, "I'm prepared to have a kickoff man and a kicker."
Gameday rosters have increased from 45 to 46 players, leaving room for an extra kicker if needed.
The Cowboys last had a two-kicker platoon in 2009, when Buehler led the league in touchbacks as a kickoff specialist and Nick Folk struggled as the field goal kicker, leading to his release that December. Buehler held both duties last year, making 24-of-32 field goals with 22 touchbacks.
The league is moving up the kickoff line to the 35, which should make Buehler a consistent touchback threat. But he knows he must show more overall consistency after missing three field goals inside 40 yards, as well as an extra point in a one-point Christmas loss to Arizona.
"Dan's a great kicker," Buehler said. "I knew when he got signed he was going to be stiff competition. Competition brings the best out of you and it forces you to put them through the pipes.
"He's doing a good job. He's had a good last three days. I just have to go out there and prove I can get the job done."